Erickson’s S-64 Composite Main Rotor Blades are a Success Story

Author:  Kathy Levy, Associate Editor
Source:  The Shot Peener magazine, Vol 37, Issue 2, Spring 2023
Doc ID:  2023017
Year of Publication:  2023
Several years ago, Erickson faced a critical decision for its S-64 Air Crane® helicopter. The six-blade heavy-lift helicopter had aluminum blades that were manufactured with extrusion equipment developed in WWII. These blades wore out due to the harsh demands on the workhorse S-64 helicopters—they are integral to the management and fighting of wildfires and lifting heavy loads. The old blades were retired and so came an opportunity— Erickson partnered with Toray Advanced Composites to develop a composite rotor blade. Toray’s BT250E-6 resin system was chosen for Erickson’s design. To highlight the success of the new blade, Erickson created an infographic titled: “From Legacy to Legendary: Composite Main Rotor Blade.” The document lists the benefits of the new blade:

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